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Freight Stayed Strong through Summer

Sept. 26, 2013
The demand for truckload freight rose 0.4% in August and is exhibiting a robust market extending into September.
Spot market freight volumes rose 0.4% in August compared to July, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. Freight typically peaks on the spot market in June, but this year the robust volumes continued through the entire summer. Month-over-month, load availability increased 3.1% for vans and 3.8% for refrigerated (“reefer”) trailers while flatbed load availability experienced a typical seasonal decline of 5.1%, according to the DAT Index. Spot market rates remained stable for vans in August; in line with seasonal norms, rates declined 3.0% for reefers and 1.8% for flatbeds. On a year-over-year basis, freight availability increased 13% for the month. Van freight volume rose 10%, reefer loads increased 22%, and flatbed freight gained 14% compared to August 2012. Van rates rose 2.3% and reefer rates gained 1.9% while flatbed rates declined 4.6% compared to the unusually high rates of August 2012.  Reference rates are derived from DAT RateView. Rates are cited for line haul only, excluding fuel surcharges, which rose in August on a month-over-month basis, but declined compared to August 2012. The monthly DAT North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the TransCore DAT network of load boards in the United States and Canada.

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